Middle Eastern Studies Student AssociationPosts RSS Comments RSS

Uchicago Student Guide and Tips

UChicago CMES Student Guide Project (FAQ) –
*Very Much Under Construction*

Any questions/suggestions about this project should be directed to Farhad- fdoxani@gmail.com

I. Contents

Updates (if you make any changes, especially if you want to change anything majorly please let me know first- Farhad)
Additions (make quick additions here- inshAllah they will be organized)
Upcoming Events/Calendar
Language/Study Abroad Programs (applied to/done/experiences)
Through the Grapevine- Things you may or may Not have heard
Course Advice
Evaluations- evaluations of classes at UChicago
Professor Tips
Questions & Answer


Jan. 4- Suggestion added- Make this into a Wiki instead so can track changes??
Oct. 4- Project idea introduced to MESSA. Some updates and ideas during MESSA meeting.
October 2nd- Addition of more sections like Updates, Resources, & Transportation and Volunteering (under Tips). First Question asked about Turkish resources.
October 1st, 2011- Project started. Meant to be a cooperative project, with CMES cohort’s participation and input, especially between 1st years and requires input by 2nd years too.


Nov. 15- CLS scholarship
mid January?- FLAS (link to last year’s)

CMES meeting- (also academic) Tuesday October 4th from 5:00-7:00 in room 218 of Pick
FUN- Plays, Movies, Festivals, etc. (espec. Mid-East related)
Oct- Iranian Film Fest- every weekend in Oct at Siskel Center- featuring the controversial movie on homosexuality, Circumstance Oct 23/24.

Critical Language Scholarship (deadline Nov. 15; thanks Lydia!)
FLAS (year and summer- Deadline mid January?)

LANGUAGE PROGRAMS (applied to/done; please describe experience, positives/give info)
Qasid- one of top Arabic programs perhaps. A few of our cohort in recent years have went. Brochure; Factsheet
Egypt (possibly can’t with FLAS b/c of Rev?)
Morocco- ALIF
U.S.- Persian consortiums?

You may be able to postpone the Islamic Civ sequence classes till your 2nd year if you’re dying to take any courses your 1st year and don’t have room for enough electives (especially last quarter)
If you took any Islamic Civ courses as a UChicago student etc. you don’t have to take it again (some in program before did not know until after taking some again)
If you take summer classes, you won’t be able to take 3 courses during each quarter your 2nd year e.g. 2 courses per quarter. You can only take a maximum of 18 courses total as a CMES masters student.


A. Academic part 1- stuff you may not have heard of as much

1. Library
a) Free scanning at A-Level Mac lab (tip, change from advanced to basic setting for faster printing when using Adobe Acrobat for scans)

2. Databases

a) Articles Plus- New database tool on main site that searches in MANY of the journals and you can find any article you’re looking for!
b) Index Islamic- one of most useful databases for Middle East/Near East studies courses and research

3. Places to study OTHER than the beautiful and artistic Reg :)

a) Coffee shops on campus (sometimes food spots too)
Hallowed Grounds (2nd floor of Reynolds Club)
Hutchinson Commons- eat and study!
quiet area of Reynolds Club in NE corner
Cobb basement-
Ex Libris- Coming back to Reg October sometime?
Barnes and Noble
Stuart (food area)

b) Libraries (on campus)
Oriental Institute (2nd floor- VERY quiet)
***Crear library (24 hr study space- Mon-Fri)

c) Libraries (other campuses)
UIC- one of closest/biggest libraries from another university.
Depending on your luck, you may be able to check out books from here too- they allowed at least one of us.
Northwestern- UChicago has an agreement where you can check out books from there (may need to visit Regenstein to get a card for it though)
PUBLIC libraries- if you have a Kindle, Nook, Sony eReader (possibly other stuff) and you get a card from them you can check out books THROUGH your e-reader from these places.***

Academic part 2

Language Circles
Arabic, Turkish, Persian- There are weekly circles/meetings where they usually have a speaker in that language, sometimes show a movie, or bring someone to speak in English something related to the culture. You can sign up to present your paper/research
Some old sessions are posted online

MEHAT (Middle East History and Theory workshop)
Forum for grad students to share work with other students/colleagues and professors and get feedback
paper’s distributed beforehand, read them and give suggestions
CMES is a part including volunteering and lamb roast and tradit. has been

Lectures from profs and grad students- consider
paper- consider submitting a research paper. For those considering Ph.D. it’s a good thing to write on your CV, so you may consider trying to begin writing something as soon as possible
Free conference that grad students from all over the country go to.

B. Cultural & Social

1. Arts
a) UChicago Arts Pass- free access and discounts to places such as Art Institute of Chicago and Museum of Contemporary

2. Sports and Exercise
a) Free Bike rental- sign up on this website for free bike rental from the Reg, Ratner, etc. until evening (check times).

3. Areas of Chicago to check out-
a) Wicker Park- fun bars, coffee shops, piano bars, shopping
b) Pilsen- Good authentic Mexican food

4. Movies & Theatre-
* Discount movie tickets to AMC in Reynolds basement ORCSA?
-Gold tickets (any movie) ~$7.50, Silver (2 weeks past)~$6.00
) Doc Films at U of C
) Middle Eastern movies?
) Film screenings
) Gene Siskel Center
) Film Festivals?
-Iranian film fest (near beginning of school year)
-Turkish film fest (near end of school year)

5. Restaurants
a) Persian- Reza’s, Noon o Kabob, Masouleh, Caravan (new)
b) Arabic- Kan Zaman, Nile, Cedar’s, Diwali’s
c) Turkish-

6. Parties

C. Transportation
Weekend- South Loop Shuttle: starting at 9PM on Fridays & Saturdays this bus goes from Reynolds Club on 57th and University to Downtown i.e. Roosevelt and State St. every hour approx. Also comes from Roosevelt and State back to Reynolds Club also. Check link for exact timings, etc.

D. Volunteer Opportunities

E. Job Advice and opportunities


University of Texas Grammar and Resources
U of Arizona Resources- includes dictionaries, possible programs of study in Iran, online instruction, etc.
Online Dictionaries
Dehkhoda- Farsi to Farsi dictionary, perhaps best/most comprehensive.
Steingass & Hayyim- very useful for Classical Persian (Hayyim is a bit more modern)
Aryanpour- May be decent at least to give you a sense of the word, especially in modern usage (but then again so is Google Translate but one would mainly use that for a general sense, not for research)

Arabic & Islam
Lane’s Lexicon- very detailed classical dictionary in case it’s not in Hans-Wehr. There’s a classical dictionary that’s smaller and quite useful still so it’s name at least should be put up soon.
Zekr- Good, open-source Qur’anic software for easy search, can download recitations, etc.
Online dictionaries
Aratools- Online tool/dictionary- software is downloadable, even for iPhone.
Hans Wehr- goes without mention but put here for completeness. Possible online pdf.


Sesli Sözlük
The Turkish Dictionary

Grammar Aides
Suffix Dictionary
Practice with Graphic Novels!
Verb Conjugator
Grammar Overview


QUESTIONS & ANSWERS- post ANY and all questions you need help with here.

Suggestions & Complaints:
1/4/2012 [FD]- WIKI- make this into a wiki instead (so changes can be tracked)?

Leave a Reply